The popularity of Instagram has increased in recent years, with more than 300 million active monthly users. That’s a huge number! But what does it mean for you? The algorithm is the secret sauce that controls how your posts are seen by others and can make or break your account. 

As a new user you might not know what the algorithm does or why its important, and since it keeps changing so often, you could be left with more questions than answers. If you want to be able to get more Instagram followers, then you should know how Instagram is display your content as well as others, so this is everything you need to know about how the algorithm works. 


The first factor that Instagram takes into account is the relationship you have with different accounts, and the way you use the app will constantly cause Instagram to reevaluate this relationship. A few things that the platform takes into account are the people you know in real life, who you message, who you search for, and whose content you like the most. 

The second is the interest you show in different posts. For example, if you like posts by certain people more than others, comment on them, and are tagged in them, then these are the ones that you will see first. Keep in mind that this is calculated historically, which means that following someone new won’t cause you to see all of their content at first. 

Another factor that is somewhat important to the algorithm is how often you use Instagram, and this difference can only really be seen at the extremes. If you open the app at least twice a day and scroll through quite a bit of content, Instagram will show you the posts in a more chronological order. If you hardly open the app, it will show you the posts it thinks you would like best. 

Reels and IGTV

The above factors mentioned don’t really work for Reels and IGTV, and one of the reasons for this is because these forms of content are more for entertainment. This essentially means that on your feed you will see things that your friends, family and people you follow have posted, so it is slightly more personal, if that’s the way you use Instagram. Compare this to Reels and IGTV, and you will understand that the content created for these formats is by creators, so it is less personal, and more about entertainment. 

The algorithm that Reels and IGTV use is based on a machine learning model which prioritizes content that you like and interact with the most. More than this, it also factors in how much of the content you watch, which is why content creators always take a while before getting to the point of the video, and keep you watching by teasing you in. 


The algorithm for Instagram Stories works in a similar way to how it works for your Feed. If you comment, watch, direct message, like or react to certain Stories from specific accounts, then those are the ones that algorithm will make sure you see first. Another factor is timeliness, which means that even if other accounts have posted something, Instagram will make sure that you see the most recent post your favorite account has made. 

Of course, a problem with this algorithm for you as the user is it doesn’t allow you the opportunity to stumble on new content from different accounts, since your favorite accounts are always being shown or suggested first. That is why you should use the Explore tab. 

How to use the algorithm to get followers

One way to use the algorithm to get followers is by posting often and consistently. The more posts you have, the higher the chance your followers will engage with your content, and the more they engagement with your content, the higher entertainment value Instagram will think your content has. When this happens, your content will be more easily discoverable on Reels and in Explore. 

Another way to increase the amount of Instagram followers is by using stickers and engaging questions when using Stories. Even though Stories themselves are directed to your followers, if you increase engagement with them, they will be shown to your followers more often. Once you have a good amount of engagement, make sure the content is entertaining so they forward it to friends, thereby increasing your followers.

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